Agathe Techne: Ethics of Art and Technology from Antiquity to Our Times

Filip Ivanovic's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
September 14, 2020 to September 19, 2020
Location: 
Montenegro
Subject Fields: 
Ancient History, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Classical Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Philosophy

The Second International Conference of Hellenic Studies on the topic "Agathe Techne: Ethics of Art and Technology from Antiquity to Our Times" is organized under the auspices of the Ministry of Science of Montenegro and will be held in Budva, an ancient town on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, and a center of Montenegrin tourism, known for its medieval city, beaches, and nightlife.

In modern times, the idea of human good life or well-being became inseparably linked with technology, in sense of control of the world that surrounds us. Conquering nature or compelling “the created world to serve the purpose of human life” (Francis Bacon) received its full realization in the second half of the 20th century with the rapid technological development that transformed our world, which became home to powerful structures, machines, media, and other man-made objects.

The age of technological progress has definitely made our lives easier, but did it make them happier? As a matter of fact, researchers like Richard Easterlin and Robert Lane showed that economic and technological progress do not increase people’s happiness – on the contrary, we are less and less happy. Empirical data gathered in the past few decades actually show that higher standard of living does not have positive influence on people’s subjective feeling of happiness, and seem to prove Rousseau’s argument that “people were unhappy in losing them conveniences without being happy in possessing them”.

On the other hand, scientific and technological advancement keeps posing serious practical dilemmas – should editing DNA question our very understanding of humanity itself; how is the social media technology affecting our privacy; what will be the ethical implications of growing artificial intelligence development, etc.

Similarly, the age of technology has provided all new means of artistic expression and mass communication. The ethic and the aesthetic have a long relationship, ranging between the two radical poles of aesthetic autonomism and aesthetic moralism, and answering the question whether a work of art should be considered completely independent from its moral value. Art, however, affects both individuals and societies, it can influence the formation of one’s identity and their relationships with others, and can uphold or provoke social values. Furthermore, new expression platforms, immediate digital availability of art, and constantly improved technologies for creating, altering, replicating, and sharing works of art, pose new questions related to the ethical dimensions of making, communicating, and exploiting art.

The Second International Conference of Hellenic Studies wants to explore these topics in both contemporary and historical perspectives, with particular reference to the Hellenic intellectual and cultural inheritance. Departing from the Greek words techne and agathe, the topic of the Conference emphasizes the ancient understanding of craftsmanship, which would include today’s concepts of art and technology, and relates them to the good, a chief concept of ethics. We will examine these relationships through a variety of themes that include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. The Greek concept of the good life and its significance today
  2. Should art be ethically responsible?
  3. Technology and the vision of humanity
  4. Artists, scientists, designers, engineers and their role in the creation of the future
  5. Art, technology, and religion
  6. Artificial intelligence and emotions
  7. Ethically informed science
  8. The Good and Beautiful: The relationship between ethics and aesthetics
  9. Nature, life, and technology
  10. Autonomy, privacy, and free will
  11. Art, technology, and the body
  12. Technology vs happiness
  13. Globalization and the media
  14. Artificial Intelligence and personhood
  15. Smart humans vs smart machines

 

We welcome submissions of academic papers in all disciplines pertaining to the general theme of the Conference. Please visit the conference website for more information.